Clarks sees UK manufacturing as growth opportunity

The growth of British shoe brand Clarks, makers of the eponymous desert boot, is due to increasing its manufacturing in the UK.

Despite posting a loss of 31.3 million pounds for the year ending January 31st, the company has reduced its products sold at discount and promotion times to focus on full price sales and categories.

CEO of the footwear group, Mike Shearwood, told Drapers: “We achieved what we said we would. EBITDA is up year on year and the standout piece is reducing net borrowings by 106 million pounds for the year. We’ve worked really hard to generate cash and we are in a more comfortable position than many of our fellow retailers. We have an ambition to transform the business into a relevant and agile brand.”

Shearwood previously stated the brand would focus on 'Made in Britain' product bringing home large scale production previously outsourced to countries like India and Vietnam, to the UK.

A new factory will be inaugurated this month near the Clarks headquarter in Street (Somerset), which will produce 300,000 pairs of desert boots per year.

Clarks was founded in 1825 when Cyrus and James Clark made a slipper from sheepskin off-cuts. The iconic Clarks desert boot was launched in 1950, and designed by Nathan Clark. It remains the company’s most sought after shoe to this day.

Photo credit: Clarks


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